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Novak faces subpoena

Wind farm targets private emails

Staff writer

After unsuccessfully trying to get copies of commissioner Dianne Novak’s personal emails with an open records request, a wind farm concerned about her possible role in aiding its opponents says it will subpoena those emails from her directly.

Expedition Wind last month filed a lawsuit seeking more than $35 million from Peabody farmer Randy Eitzen and five other defendants. The defendants are plaintiffs who did not withdraw from a lawsuit filed last August against the county.

Although Novak is not a defendant in the lawsuit, the company filed an open records request April 22 seeking all of her computer and telephone records relating to land use, zoning, wind energy, Expedition Wind, and its predecessor companies.

Novak hired a lawyer to fight the request for personal communications.

Documents provided by the county show a majority of the items that originally were on the county’s email system were forwarded to Novak’s personal email address.

The subpoena, which has not yet been served, demands a long list of items from Novak’s personal records. Included are:

  • Communications Novak had with wind farm opponents Eitzen, Susan Mayo, Tom Britain, Steve Butts, Michelle Butts, Brandon Butts, or any representative of theirs.
  • Documents that relate to any records requests Novak may have made regarding any wind generation project.
  • Documents about land use or zoning requests, analysis, or decisions related to any wind energy generation project.
  • Any documents related to Novak’s opposition to any wind energy project.

The subpoena specifically seeks documents sent, written, or received in any manner, including handwritten notes, emails, recordings, faxes, texts, charts or tabulations, photographs, telephone records, text records, postings on social media, or any other type of records.

“I heard through the grapevine of the intent to subpoena me,” Novak said in response. “The fact of the matter is, it would be ridiculous to do so since I have nothing to do with this lawsuit, no relevance at all!

“It would appear to me as though a fishing expedition is going on. If Expedition Wind does decide to subpoena me, my guess would be it’s because they are disappointed that the law did not allow them to get into any of my personal business with the KORA request, they submitted a few weeks ago.

“Or maybe their goal is simply to assassinate my character. Either way I will not be intimidated nor bullied.”

Last modified May 27, 2020

 

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